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Name-callings in US-North Korea Diplomatic Rhetoric

Joong Chol Kwak 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

On May 31, 2005, President Bush called the north Korean leader as 'Mr. Kim Jong-il', when he reiterated his intention to resolve the North's nuclear development plan through the 6-party talks. His first-ever honorific for Kim was noted by North Korea and the rest of the world. On June 17, Kim proposed to call Bush with the honorific, 'His Excellency' and expressed his favorable feeling about the American leader. On June 28, the whole north Korean spectators stood up to the American national anthem in a Pyonyang gymnasium and on July 26, and the long-delayed 6-party talks was resumed in Beijing during which the American chief delegate called the north's leader 'Chairman Kim'. On September 19, during the second round of the 4th talks, a joint communique was issued, with the north‘s commitment to abandoning all its nuclear arms and existing nuclear development plan. It was about 110 days after Bush uttered 'Mr. Kim Jong-il'. You may well observe that changing diplomatic situation naturally produce changing name-callings between the two countries, but we could also say that the short honorific help produce the dramatic turn-about of the difficult negotiations. Unfortunately, however, that the positive name-calling effect seemed to end in 2005. From the beginning of 2006, the illegal financial problem of North Korea(Banco Delta Asia savings) seemed to scrap all the positive effects of name-calling in 2005. In 2006, North Korea test-fired a missile in July and a nuclear bomb in October. In the meantime, the U.S. and North Korea did not exchange any name-calling until President Bush said that he can meet with 'Chairman Kim' in November, 2006. His last try to call Kim Jong-il Chairman seemed to have little effect since the U.S. had very hard time inducing North Korea to an agreement during the 5th 6-party talks in February, 2007. On March 25, 2008, Bush reportedly said, in his probably last naming of Kim, "When I was inaugurated as President in 2001, he was like a child who throws down the food in order to draw attention." It can be said that there is a cause and effect relationship between name-callings and changing situations in international diplomacy. When the situation seems to improve, positive name-callings could well accelerate the trend but there should be a limit in the case of a long and difficult relationship like the US and North Korea. Translations of changing name-callings are all the more difficult because they are uttered by high-ranking officials in their speeches of crisis rhetoric which are broadcast live by TV in a short moment since names are usually very short. In this context, translators' understanding of name-calling as a propaganda device in perception and language issues in the mass media could help them properly and promptly convey its shade of meaning into another language.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.